Above – Press room at Gov. Phil Murphy’s Inaugural ceremony, Patriots Theatre at the War Memorial in Trenton
How many of these New Jersey journalists have nursed beers and pounded out copy after watching Christie command a room like the insult comic he tried to be almost immediately after he was sworn in? If you didn’t already know that a huge part of the Christie schtick was him getting yuck-yucks from his audience at the expense of whatever poor schmuck dared to ask him a hard question, this Ledger video of Christie calling columnist Tom Moran “the thinnest-skinned guy in America.” was the guy in a nutshell. What got me about that was not so much Christie’s mocking a writer – Tom Moran can take it (and dish it out) – but the idiot brigade of sycophants behind him dutifully laughing it up. Flash forward to nearly every town hall in his first term (before he wasn’t the most-despised politician in America), when he’d stack his town hall audience with loyalists squealing with delight and clapping like seals at whoever he’d make spectacle of. That was the show.
- Teacher Marie Corfield, whose dressing down his taxpayer-funded social media person made sure Republicans saw to the tune of 1 million-plus hits
- Melissa Tomlinson, who got Christie’s big finger in her face while Mary Pat Christie yucked it up watching
- Rutgers Law student, Bill Brown, who the Gov called an idiot, who turned out also to be a Navy SEAL, and definitely not an idiot
- The guy Christie told, ’Sit down and shut up’ and roll up his sleeves and help Sandy families who it turned out had been doing just that for months
The bullyboy who kept people in line by mocking anyone who stepped out against him. And it worked – for a while, especially because of his stable of willing, enabling Christiecrat Democrats, most subsidiaries of George Norcross who got rewarded bigly in the Christie years. They were co-optable when they should have been fighting him tooth and nail. They backed him, as they quietly undermined the candidacy of Barbara Buono, who showed more bravery than any of them by running against him.
He was, and is, the Biggest Jerk in Politics. And it might have all been worth it if he could actually govern, but he was just a windbag with more swagger than good sense, who wasted federal dollars, brought us a record number of credit downgrades, spent massive taxpayer money rewarding friends, spent more than a year collecting a Jersey paycheck while chasing an absolutely pointless White House run. If Christie was a hot prospect for POTUS or VPOTUS in 2012, when he was twisting Democratic arms to endorse him and using Sandy dollars to promote himself during an election, that faded fast. By 2015, as we all know, there was a bigger asshole running for president on the R side. And Christie was relegated to his sycophant.
Today’s a new day.